The Architecture of Philip Johnsonby Stephen Fox, Hillary Lewis, Richard Payne, Hilary Lewis
Philip Johnson's imprint is indelibly stamped on cities across America. From New York's AT&T (now Sony) Building to his famous Glass House in Connecticut, Johnson's
The only comprehensive guide to the architecture of Philip Johnson--one of the most significant architects of the 20th century--with exquisite photographs and a foreword by the architect himself.
Philip Johnson's imprint is indelibly stamped on cities across America. From New York's AT&T (now Sony) Building to his famous Glass House in Connecticut, Johnson's innovative designs and widespead influence have made him the undisputed dean of 20th-century architecture. With a foreword by Johnson himself, an essay by his biographer Hilary Lewis, and over 400 color photographs accompanied by detailed building descriptions, this is the book on Philip Johnson's architecture. The photographs were taken by Richard Payne, one of Johnson's personal photographers, who set out to document all extant buildings designed by this celebrated visionary. Johnson has produced a life's work full of surprises and groundbreaking ideas that have shaped the way we live, work, and play.
Author Biography: Philip Johnson has been at the center of American architecture since he served as the first Director of Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art in 1932. In the seven decades since then, Johnson has designed some of America's greatest landmarks, most notably his own home, the Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut.
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Read an Excerpt
The Architecture of Philip Johnson
By Hilary Lewis, Philip Johnson, Richard Payne
Bulfinch PressCopyright © 2002 Philip Johnson
All right reserved.
Chapter OneIt is embarrassing to see all the buildings I have ever built stretched out in one book like this. I had no idea I'd built so many buildings. I couldn't say (as I would like to) that this one's good and this one's bad. Like all architects, I am only interested in my next building. What did happen as I went through this book is that by leaving out the obvious (my own house and other well-known structures), several buildings struck me as worth a remark.
Technically the MoMA Sculpture Garden is landscape architecture, but it is organized as an architecturally arranged room. It is interesting to me to walk through the sequence of "rooms" to view the sculptures. In the reconstruction of the MoMA beginning in 2001, the garden was destroyed. It will, however, we trust, be rebuilt.
The Museum Building at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute in Utica is one of my best plans - in fact, one of my best buildings. Clear plan and good materials (granite and bronze).
The Nuclear Reactor in Rehovat, Israel, is my temple in the desert. Again the clear plan, with an inner courtyard. The warped panels covering the actual reactor sphere are a feature I have used very often in my later work, right up to the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, which is still onthe boards.
The Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery is a calm repetition of symmetrically placed arcuated features. The nine arches are identical, except that the center three are glass. Simple to the point of repetition, but clear and successful.
The New York State Pavilion at the 1964-65 World's Fair is now a ruin. In a way, the ruin is even more haunting than the original structure. There ought to be a university course in the pleasure of ruins.
The Kline Tower at Yale dominates its part of the campus by its size and site. It is known as my "Tootsie Roll Building" because of the cylindrical columns that emphasize each of its main facades. I have always had a weakness for round or curved surfaces. They catch light so much better than square or right-angle corners.
The RepublicBank (now Bank of America Center) in Houston was designed in a style reminiscent of Dutch Baroque gables. It makes a much less boring tower than the usual block.
The "Lipstick Building" is a nickname that stuck for my tower at 53rd Street on Third Avenue. What a thrill to drive through the streets of New York and find this relief from the square plan of the normal office tower.
The Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston was the only building in my career that I unashamedly copied from another architect, Claude-Nicholas Ledoux, an eighteenth-century French genius. His building was also an educational structure. I changed a few little things along the way.
PHILIP JOHNSON New Canaan, CT
Excerpted from The Architecture of Philip Johnson by Hilary Lewis, Philip Johnson, Richard Payne Copyright © 2002 by Philip Johnson
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.